It's begun. Already. The questions gaining momentum today are "Is it coming?" "When's it getting here?" and "What's going to happen with that hurricane down in the tropics?"
Keep in mind, that as of this writing we have neither a hurricane, nor a tropical storm, nor even a tropical depression. In fact, thus far we have an open tropical wave with no official closed surface circulation (that may change when hurricane hunters report back)- in other words, a cluster of thunderstorms. Granted, it's an impressive cluster that's dropped over 10 inches of rain in Puerto Rico. And, granted, upper level winds have been becoming more favorable with outflow improving, allowing for sustained thunderstorms. But there are issues with this, too. Not only is it difficult to define any center of circulation (recon aircraft is investigating - there could be a small circulation with limited convection just east of the Dominican), but wind shear is rather significant in the middle and upper levels both north and south of the wave. Additionally, steering currents in the middle and lower levels are still from east to west, not a northward flow.
All of these factors argue against any development. In favor of development is the already good structure of the convection, warm ocean water, and a number of guidance products - including all hurricane guidance products - that spin the system up. In the latest frames of the afternoon visible satellite loop, it becomes evident that a small circulation may be intact, over land, over the eastern tip of the Dominican. This is also where, in the IR satellite image here, enhanced thunderstorm tops are showing up north of the main thunderstorm cluster.
Right now, there are far more uncertainties than certainties about whether this thing will ever even develop a closed circulation, let alone ramp up, and certainly not whether the storm will take one track or another if it does develop.
But, alas, we as a society love something to watch and worry about. Of course, there IS plenty that we could worry about with this storm - a forecast track into the Mid-Atlantic coast around Delmarva is one possibility that would be devastating for parts of Jersey, Delaware and MD. A New England pass probably would go southeast of us but could bring a strong and damaging nor'easter. But, before we get too carried away...we need a storm. :)
Any thoughts on this, folks? Comments are open on all the posts!